November 4, 2004

Test Spin: The Futureheads

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The Futureheads are different. The opening seconds of the British quartet’s new self-titled album proves as much. “Le Garage,” lasting just over 90 seconds, trickles in with a series of do-do-dos reminiscent of your high school choir followed by a thickly English-accented intonement: “Everything was ready but he had to run away.” Unabashedly self-referential, the track speeds through itself, being too short and too fast and too impatient. And yet it makes very clear the band’s intentions: to be cheeky and unserious and still be intricate and well-polished.

So that’s what they do, writing songs about robots, singing, “I am a robot, living like a robot, talk like a robot.” They cover Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.” They dedicate an entire song to being stupid and shallow, aptly titled “Stupid and Shallow.” And still, somehow, they manage to pull off these antics. What seems to save them is their talent. The Futureheads showcases catchy melodies carefully lined with remarkable four part harmonies, creating spaces where new wave meets a cappella. Here, the Futureheads can only be tongue-in-cheek for so long — that is, until the chorus.

Archived article by Lynne Feeley
Sun Staff Writer